Do You Have a Darkroom Photography Related Question That You Would Like Answered?

March 20, 2017  •  2 Comments

I thought it would be helpful and relevant if I included a Q&A Section in the Darkroom Underground publication.  If you have a question that you would like answered by one of our advisory board members, then send me an email with your question and we will review it for publication. 

We have a super-talented advisory board that loves to answer your questions, so don't hold back and we will do our best to provide a clear and detailed response. 

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Tim Layton, founder, and editor - Tim has been creating artist original handmade pure platinum prints using traditional large format view cameras, sheet film, handmade papers, darkroom chemicals, and natural light for over 30 years. Tim Layton hosts a wide variety of workshops in the film and darkroom genre for analog photographers of all skill levels. "I make a humble attempt at taking my viewers on a visual and emotional journey away from the modern day digitized world by sharing my love for nature through the art and craft of traditional black and white fine art printmaking.  I make a humble attempt to create emotionally evocative handmade prints of significant natural and environmental subjects. The archival permanence properties of platinum ensure people one thousand years from now and beyond will be able to view these important subjects at the turn of the 21st century.  I get the added benefit of an incredibly long tonal scale with magnificent mid-tones and supple highlights that platinum prints are known for." -

Quinn Jacobson -  Quinn is an internationally recognized artist and teacher and his name is forever connected to wet plate collodion based on his tireless and original contribution to the arts.  "Photography was a part of Quinn's life from an early age. Both his mother and father were avid photographers. And both accomplished in their own right. 35mm still film, Polaroid film, and 8mm movie film were common in the Jacobson house. Every event was documented. He began his career as a photographer in the United States military in 1982. Quinn served in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman for three years (11C) and then as a Combat Photographer (84B) for three years (1982-1988). In 1993, he received a Bachelor of Integrated Studies degree (B.I.S.) in Photography, Visual Art and Communication from Weber State University, Ogden, Utah USA. In 2007, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree (M.F.A.) in Photography from Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont USA.  -

Steve Anchell - Steve is internationally published with his fine artwork exhibited in galleries and private collections. Since his first exhibit in 1974, his work has been in sixty exhibits, including twenty-eight solo exhibits.

From 1970 to 1976 he owned a portrait and wedding studio, first in Los Angeles and then in San Luis Obispo, Calif. From 1977 to 1984 he operated a studio in Hollywood, California, which included as clients, Max Factor, Vivian Woodard, and Merle Norman cosmetics, IBM, Teledyne-Inet, Ohrbach’s Department Store, Wham-O Toys, Catalina Swimwear, and many others.  Agency accounts included Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB); Ogilvie & Mather (Ogilvie Group); Young & Rubicam (Y&R); and Evans/Weinberg.

Steve has written for Rangefinder and photo technique magazines and has been a contributing editor to Outdoor Photographer, Camera & Darkroom, and PhotoWork magazines.  He has written columns, feature articles and interviews for Shutterbug, View Camera, Camera Arts, PIC, and PhotoPro magazines. He is the former editor of Photovision: Art and Technique and Focus Fine Art Photography magazines.

His three books, The Darkroom Cookbook, The Variable Contrast Printing Manual, and The Film Developing Cookbook are international bestsellers.  Photo-Eye Books of Santa Fe named The Variable Contrast Printing Manual the best technical title of 1997.  In 2001 The Nude at Big Sur, was published by Cold Creek Press. Focal Press will release his fifth book, Digital Photo Assignments, on August 26, 2015.

Steve has conducted workshops since 1979, including workshops for the International Center of Photography in NYC, Santa Fe Workshops, Toscana Photographic Workshops (Italy), the Universities of California at Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Irvine, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Denver.

Bruce Barnbaum - Bruce is recognized as one of the finest darkroom printers on this planet, both through his exceptional black and white work and also through his color imagery. His work is represented by more than ten galleries throughout the United States and Canada and is in the collections of museums and private collectors worldwide. Bruce’s contributions, both technically and creatively, are effectively infinite because his contributions live on through his students and readers of his books.   

"Bruce's photography expands upon the dynamics he finds in both nature and the works of man, relating forces to the sweeping forms that dominate his vivid imagery. Visually he emphasizes the best of humanity and nature, sometimes with bold realism, often with degrees of abstraction to heighten the mystery. He understands light to an extent rarely found, and combines this understanding with a mastery of composition, applying them to an extraordinarily wide range of subject matter. His photographs often contain ambiguities concerning either the size of the scene photographed and/or its orientation, forcing the viewer to pause and think, and to become part of the creative process." - 

Jon Paul - Jon Paul has been Lake Tahoe’s premier landscape photographer for nearly 20 years. During that time, Jon has amassed a collector base spanning all 50 U.S. states and nearly 50 countries around the globe. As one of just a few professional large format film photographers remaining today, Jon Paul is known for producing some of the most breathtaking fine art landscape images available. The combination of Jon’s large format film capture, mastery of photographic technique and his unrivaled vision of the natural world has enabled Jon to create images worthy of representing what Jon refers to as “The Fine Art of Nature”. -

Paul Wainwright - Paul is a rare photographer because of his masterful mind and his ability to tell stories via his photographic art.  Paul earned a Ph.D. from Yale University and he worked for Bell Laboratories for nearly 25 years before pursuing his love for analog photography full time.  Paul's understanding of film speed and development is unparalleled and his ability to explain the details is a defining moment for many photographers.  

Wainwright's work has appeared in numerous juried competitions and solo exhibitions, most recently at the Baldwin Gallery at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the Panopticon Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, the Mugar Art Gallery at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, the Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont.  Wainwright’s work is included in the permanent collections of both private and corporate collectors, including the Boston Public Library in Boston, Massachusetts, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham, New Hampshire. -

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I am going to set up a darkroom in my house. We are in a septic system. Are there any developing chemicals that are less "chemical" and safe for septics? Or are there any other precautions I can/should take? Or is having a septic a total no-go for darkrooms? Appreciate your input.
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